A Purgatorial Flame: Seven British Writers in the Second World War - Sebastian D. G. KnowlesPhiladelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently bruised at the spine ends and corners with commensurate wear to the dust wrapper. Text complete, clean and tight.
From the cover: “In this study of a significant period of modern British literature, Sebastian D. G. Knowles argues that Modernism did not expire in 1939, to return as Contemporary Literature in 1945. Rather than marking a hiatus in British literature, the Second World War continued the march of literary ideas, and provoked an astonishingly cohesive response to a common catastrophe.
A Purgatorial Flame centers upon the wartime work of seven British Modernists: Woolf, MacNeice, Eliot, Tolkien, Lewis, Williams, and Waugh. Although none of these is generally considered a wartime writer, all wrote their finest, or most mature work under the shadow of the Second World War. Whether waiting for war to be declared, waiting for it to start in earnest, or waiting for the bombs to fall, all expressed that waiting through the image of purgatory. A Purgatorial Flame draws these writers together, in an attempt to extend the accepted range of Modernism.
The Second World War is in danger of becoming a memory of a memory; its literature ensures that it will never be so. This book provides a critically-needed reassessment of that literature, serving as both a reminder and a celebration.
A Purgatorial Flame will be of interest to scholars and students of modern British Literature.”